Unmukt Chand, who had recently quit cricket in India to pursue greener pastures in the United States Of America (USA), had made history by becoming the first male Indian cricketer to sign up with a Big Bash League (BBL) franchise.
Melbourne Renegades, former BBL champions, had signed up Unmukt Chand for the BBL 2021-22 or BBL 11 season. It was a huge deal for the former India cricketer as he had moved countries in order to realize his dream of playing international cricket.
Chand famously led the Indian U19 team to World Cup glory in 2012 in Australia and played in the IPL as well. However, a massive dip in form that led to dwindling returns didn't help nail down a permanent position, both at the IPL and with his state team, Delhi.
Chand even moved to Uttarakhand in search of stability, but left within a year and finally moved to the USA, where he started his Minor League career in America by leading his team Silicon Valley to the title.
"I've loved watching the Big Bash and players around the world coming in. It's a great platform and I always wanted to play there. I'm really looking forward in the coming years that I can make a name for myself and hopefully win championships for the teams I play for,” Unmukt was quoted by ESPNCricinfo when he signed the contract.
"I've always enjoyed playing in Australia. I haven't been to Melbourne before. I know for a fact there are lots of Indians in Melbourne, so it's going to be nice, and I hope the crowds turn up for games as well,” he added.
However, everything has unraveled as Chand is yet to play a game for the Renegades in the entire ongoing BBL 11 season, despite the COVID crisis in the tournament which has seen a couple of games being postponed and the entire tournament being moved to a single location to keep it going.
The lack of opportunity led to Chand taking a subtle dig at the Renegades and tweeted: “Feels more like a vacation. Thanks Melbourne!!”
In all, he has played 77 T20s since making his debut in 2010 and has an average of 22.35 and a strike rate of 116.09.